Arnold's personal protective equipment division is part of Arnold Engineering Plastics Ltd founded in 1967, with the PPE division being formed in 1977 when they produced the first riot shield to be used in the UK by the Metropolitan Police. The Metropolitan still specify this shield today.
As police tactics evolved and shorter shields were introduced to the range the need for limb and body protectors became evident. Arnolds designed a range of limb protectors originally called the ‘Traditional’ range, but now known as the ‘Prime’ range and so successful this range is sold to police officers and prison services throughout the world to this day.
With the relaxation of height restrictions in the police service and with women officers being trained in public order duties it was clear that the development of a new generation of products was necessary and out of this came the very successful ‘Advance’ range of product which set new standards of fit, with limb and body protectors in 4 sizes. The production of batons in 1984 further enhanced Arnold’s product range and earned this new product an enviable reputation for reliability and longevity that has withstood a number of fashion fads for other types of baton products.
The 1980’s & 1990’s saw Arnold protective equipment division grow significantly to become a world leader in the manufacture of personal protective equipment. Arnold's name has become a byword for quality of product.
The ongoing collaboration with the protective clothing research facility, Cambridge University and Satra safety product centre backed with the latest biomechanical and medical data from within the European standardisation work programme has meant that Arnold’s products set the benchmark for quality and fit. In the frontline of troubles throughout the UK and worldwide Arnold's products have never been known to suffer failure when put to the test.
By 1997 Arnolds had become part of the committee formed to prepare British standards for protective clothing and equipment for use in violent situations and in training, with other committee members coming as representatives of other PPE manufacturers, test houses, police officers and medical practitioners. Arnolds to this day are still part of the committee and are committed to improving product standards, to date product standards for riot shields, limb protectors, body protectors, boots, gloves and coveralls have all been published with a further standard for foot protectors due out in 2006.
In 2003 Arnolds began the development, leading to the rigorous testing of the ‘Frontline’ range of limb protectors, which are a completely new generation of protectors, lighter, stronger and even more durable than have been produced before, the ‘Frontline’ range launches in April 2006 and heralds a new chapter in Arnold personal protective equipment division’s history, which will see even more new products joining the ‘Frontline’ range over the next year, including the much awaited ‘Frontline’ shoulder and torso combination vest, which will provide the wearer with blunt trauma/stab/spike protection.
Whilst Arnold PPE products have been sold through a distribution network worldwide in 55 countries, sales in the UK have always been handled directly by Arnolds. Since the 1st February 2006 Michael Lupton Associates have been appointed sole UK distributor for Arnold brand personal protective equipment products.
Although Arnold's protective equipment division has been a success story this success has been also mirrored by Arnolds in other areas, with now dedicated divisions in plastic engineering, point of sale, vacuum forming, furniture, and signs and vinyl graphics making Arnold Engineering Plastics one of the UK’s leading plastic manufacturers.
It is Arnolds commitment to product design quality and customer service that has earned them BSI & ISO 9001-2000 accreditation and the right to use the legend.
‘Made by Professionals – Used by Professionals’.